Canada Reveals New $10 Bill Featuring Country’s Black Civil Rights Legend

A Black Canadian civil rights icon was honored for her trail-blazing acts of defiance in a ceremony that reveal her image on the country’s new $10 bill.

The bill, featuring Viola Desmond, is the first vertically oriented bank note issued in Canada. It is also known as the purple polymer bill and includes a portrait of Desmond, as well as a historic map of north end Halifax and Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

“It was long past time for a bank note to feature an iconic Canadian woman,” Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz told the large crowd gathered at the Halifax Central Library on International Women’s Day despite a blustery snowstorm and flickering power. “That’s been a goal of mine since I became governor.”

Poloz also acknowledged Desmond’s courage for standing up for what she believed in during her quest for justice and equality.

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“It’s an important story because it shows that standing up for what we believe, whether it’s on the steps of Parliament Hill or in a movie theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, can make our country and our world a better place for future generations,” he said.

Desmond passed away in 1965. Her sister, Wanda Robson, accepted the honor on her behalf.

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